Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

April 2011

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 153          April 2011
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Welcome to Monitor.  This month we are pleased to launch 
the new version of the Windmill Test Sequence software 
at the greatly reduced price of 50 pounds, 60 Euro or 
85 US dollars.  Test Sequence lets you automate 
measurement and control tasks using a sequence of 
commands: for PID control, alarm monitoring, 
control signals and so on. Read more below.

We hope you find the newsletter useful, but should you 
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Monitor Newsletter

* Windmill News: New Version of Test Sequence Software
* Excel Corner: Starting Windmill from Excel
* DAQ News Roundup
* Data Acquisition and Control Exhibitions

Windmill News: New Version of Test Sequence Software

Today we are delighted to launch a new version of our 
Test Sequence software. This adds many facilities to the 
Windmill and Streamer suites of software.  For example, 
Test Sequence lets you:

- Perform PID control

- Monitor alarms and take appropriate action

- Send key-presses to other Windows programs like Excel

- Start and stop logging according to conditions or time of day

- Log data more frequently when readings exceed an alarm threshold

- Ramp output values up and down

To use Test Sequence you simply create a text file 
containing a list of commands, and tell Test Sequence to 
run it. The new version adds several new commands, making 
Test Sequence even more powerful. For example, you can now 

- Loop several times through a command sequence, useful, 
  for instance, if you wanted to slowly rotate a head 
  one degree at a time

- Check if a condition is true before doing something - 
  eg if a temperature is greater than 20 degrees C then 
  switch off the heater

- Wait until a specified amount of data has been collected

- Show instructions to a user

- Let a user manually adjust the value of an analogue output

- Branch to a different part of the test sequence

The commands are very straight forward to implement.  
For example, to tell Test Sequence to wait until a 
specified channel meets a condition you would use
Wait Pressure > 15
Wait is the command
Pressure is the name of the channel and
>15 is the condition to be met

The Help file supplied with Test Sequence gives loads 
of examples on how to perform tasks with Test Sequence, 
and we are happy to help you if your application isn't 
covered. Furthermore, if Test Sequence does not do what 
you require, we will give you your money back.

For a trial period we have reduced the price of 
Test Sequence from £195 to £50 (60 Euro or $85) at 
our on-line shop -

Test Sequence is for computers running Windmill or 
Streamer data collection software under Windows 10, 8, 7, 
Vista, XP, 98 and 95. It works with any hardware 
supported by Windmill or Streamer, for example almost 
any RS232, RS422, RS485 or Modbus device, and Windmill 
or Microlink USB and Ethernet hardware.

For more information or to try Test Sequence go to, 
e-mail [email protected] or 
telephone +44 (0)161 833 2190.

Excel Corner: Starting Windmill from Excel

You can use Excel to open a Windmill program and tell it 
to start collecting or displaying data.  We covered how 
to do this in issue 58 of Monitor 
(, but last week 
one of our readers told us that it didn't work properly 
for him. He could load the Windmill DDE Panel but it 
wouldn't start reading data.

The issue was with Windows 10, 8, 7 and the location of DDE Panel's 
setup file.  This setup file (*.wdp) contains all the 
details you need to use DDE Panel; for example the speed 
of sampling and which channels to display. The setup file 
in question was in the Windmill folder, under 
C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\. Instead of loading this file as 
requested, Excel gave an error message. 

The solution was to save the file in a different folder, 
away from \PROGRAM FILES (X86)\.  You would therefore use a 
line like this in your Excel macro, to launch 
Windmill DDE Panel and start displaying data.
Shell "C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\Windmill Software\Windmill\WMDDE.EXE c:\MySetups\ddepanel.wdp"

To change the default folder where Windmill stores your 
setup files, use the ConfIML program.

1. Run ConfIML.
2. Click the Directory button. The Default Directory 
   message box appears.
3. Click OK.
4. Open a new folder and click Save. Windmill will create 
   two sub-folders under this choice, called setup and data.

Any questions on this or any other Excel topic? 
Fill in the Excel help form.

Further Reading: Using Excel for Data Acquisition


DAQ News Roundup

Welcome to our roundup of the data acquisition and 
control news.  If you would like to receive more 
timely DAQ news updates then grab our RSS newsfeed 
at  Read for notes
on how to display the live news on your own web site.

Tiny sensor could make it easier to collect ocean data
   Scientists could use live fish to monitor the 
   temperature and saltiness of the oceans thanks to a 
   tiny new sensor.  Researchers have created a highly 
   accurate and cheap device that can be attached to a 
   fish, boat or buoy. 
   Source: The Engineer
OGC Announces Common Standards to Simplify Sensor Web Development 
   The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has announced a 
   new standard for when sensors need to be accessed and 
   managed through service interfaces. It provides a 
   standard model (and XML implementation of the model) 
   for the representation, nature, structure and encoding 
   of sensor related data.
   Source: OGC

Wireless Energy Harvesting Now Interopable with TCP/IP
   The EnOcean Alliance has announced that its wireless, 
   battery-less energy harvesting sensors and associated 
   control systems are now fully interoperable with TCP/IP. 
   This allows people to manage and monitor building 
   automation controls over IP networks
   Source: Sensors

Secure OPC keeps attackers at bay
   Automation systems remain vulnerable and exposed. 
   According to ISS Source, past experiences like Stuxnet 
   and last month's revelations about SCADA system 
   vulnerabilities show networks are sitting ducks to 
   any aggressive and sophisticated attack. A new white 
   paper discusses how different defensive layers can 
   provide high security when using OPC technology. 
   Source: ISS Source

IEEE Launches 40GB/S Ethernet Optical Interface Standard
   IEEE responding to industry needs quickly develops a 
   40Gb/s interface to enable smooth transition and fast 
   adoption of Ethernet technologies on carrier networks. 
   Source: IEEE Standards Association

Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences

The quarterly update of data acquisition and control 
exhibitions around the world.

Metrology Malaysia 2011
4-8 May
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
International precision measurement and testing exhibition.

17-19 May
Vilnius, Lithuania
Exhibition of mechanical engineering, industrial equipment, 
electronics and electrical engineering, measuring and 
control devices.

24-26 May
Paris, France
Range of measurement and instrumentation solutions for 
research and industrial applications.

National Manufacturing Week
24-27 May
Melbourne, Australia
Includes process control and instrumentation zone.

Factory Automation
23-26 June
Bangkok Thailand
Factory and industrial automation exhibition.

ISA Expo Control México
24 June
Mexico City, Mexico
For companies specialising in instruments, manufacture, 
control and automation of industrial processes.

Industrial Automation
20-23 July
Kuala Lumur, Malaysia
International exhibition on industrial automation, 
manufacturing process, control and measurement 
equipment & technology.

* Copyright Windmill Software Ltd
* Reprinting permitted with this notice included
* For more articles see

We are happy for you to copy and distribute this 
newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site 
or publication, providing the above notice is 
included and a link back to our website is in place.

An archive of previous issues is at
and an index of articles at

Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office,
Manchester, M8 8QR, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782
Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190
E-mail: [email protected]


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